Building a B2B Website for Automated Lead Nurturing
Thinking of building a new B2B website? We've put together 5 useful tips to ensure it's built with lead nurturing in mind. Read here to form your blueprint
Published: 18 Nov 2014
5 minutes read
Even in 2014 there are still businesses resolutely assuring themselves there is absolutely no way of selling their services online. Traditional telesales and offline interruption marketing is more measurable and although less and less likely to make a return on investment, it's not change, and we know how people fear change.
Websites can often be large investments, not only for a B2B digital agency to build but to maintain with content, so having a clear and concise roadmap to success in your head when pitching the idea of working with a digital marketing firm to your financial director is a must, especially if it is a lead nurturing (or ideally automated lead nurturing) roadmap.
Here's some simple best practices tips that can enable you to formulate a blueprint to executing a successful digital marketing arm of your business.
To understand your customer, you must become your customer. You're already in business, your sales team deal with these people on a day to day basis, so who are they? Are they male or female? What age are they? What's their job title? Who do they report to? Are they serious go getting ladder climbers or comfortable in their role and would just like less headaches on a day to day basis? This might seem an odd thing to worry about, but tone of voice for your content is key and where these potential customers expect you to take them will be validated or shot down by how you talk to them when they're researching for new products and solutions. You need to be honest with yourself on this one, the idea of starting everything with personas is to connect them to your products and services. You have faith in them, you're certain that they're exactly what the customer wants, it's just ensuring you spin your wares the right way to attract people in to finding more.
Having researched your personas, you can begin to build up a portfolio of potential keywords they would use when attempting to find products and services like yours. Try not to think so much about product titles and services, more to the pains and problems that those products and services would resolve. A lot of people aren't aware of the terminology that defines technology services in particular, it can be a minefield of acronyms, so consider what issues they could be facing and punching those into a search engine looking for the answer. If you have an existing site, you can make use of Google's webmaster tools to discover what keywords people have used in the past to find your site. If you don't have an existing site, have a look at your competitors sites and see what keyword phrases they're optimised for. You can do this best by looking at the code behind the pages, but there are tools out there that will identify organic and paid for keywords that your competitors are using. When you start to use tools like HubSpot, you'll have access to a keyword tool which'll give you an average searches a month and your position in the rankings related to the keywords that can really help you in creating content going forward.
Content in isolation isn't that powerful, what's required are workflows which are content funnels that guide your visitors along the sales path. These funnels are the paths between your personas pains and your products. Step by step clear and concise information that takes the hassle out of understanding what you can do for the customer so they hopefully select you as their supplier. You can start with a blog about a particular problem a persona may be having, and introduce your companies methodology on how that problem is best resolved, guiding them to download an asset about that methodology that they can refer back to as part of their buying process. Because of the automaton of a marketing tool like HubSpot, you can then send them a follow up asset with details on how you used that methodology to resolve the same issue for another client in the form of the case study. Following on from that you can confident they're looking for a solution to the problem you talked about on the blog and suggest they complete a more detailed assessment, which is a good way of converting qualified leads. So jot down the steps and blogs and assets, just titles to start with, showing the flow of the customer from top of the funnel to the bottom. You'll end up with a lot more of these than you'd think, and it should give you and your board the confidence that B2B lead generation would work for your company.
4. Landing pages
Depending on the amount of work that's put in to a website, you'll get at least a handful of templates to play with by the time the designers are finished. One that's often overlooked is the landing page, which should play a key role in your online sales process. We tend to think of landing pages as sprawling increasingly sized increasingly red texted pages that go on and on about the benefits of the product for sale. In actual fact the basic concepts around a landing page design are seen all over the web including Amazon. The idea is to focus the user so they don't get distracted by alternative options such as navigation or banners. You'll want a nice clean simple page, branded yes, but the header should be clear of everything else. Think about how you would produce imagery for the landing page. A 'mock' software box or brochure is ideal, even if you have no physical product to offer and the guide will never be printed and only available in PDF format. It gives the visitor a greater sense of it being a more substantial download. Think about the copywriting of the content, it needs to be punchy but detailed enough to pique the interest of the visitor to fill in the form on the page, as that contact is key to starting your workflow above.
Anyone offering digital marketing services as part of a B2B website package will no doubt insist you have a social media presence, one which hopefully they'll maintain for you. Now this doesn't mean you're going to have to be on Facebook all day, but Twitter and LinkedIn have become fantastic allies for companies to promote themselves and create awareness of their brand through these channels. Again it's often a concept dismissed by the powers that be, but using your keyword research, you should be able search through the various social media platforms and find competitors and discussion groups that you can bookmark, giving you a sense of the size of audience already out there that you could promote your newly created content to, who then in turn could retweet and promote through their own social media connections.